I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve preached the importance of a good breakfast! All of my games at the Olympics are played in the evening, which means the luxury of a late start to the day. It would be very easy just to grab a coffee and skip the effort of trekking over to the dining hall safe in the knowledge that lunch is only a couple of hours away.
Whether you’re preparing for an Olympic match or getting ready for a day at the office, breakfast is VERY important. The basic components of a good breakfast are hydration, protein and complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this can’t be found in a bowl of Coco Pops or Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.
In the Olympic dining hall there is everything from McDonalds and pizza to dim sum and cake on offer every morning. The number of foreign athletes tucking into giant pain au chocolats or a couple of slices of pepperoni pizza is quite incredible. As tempting as these are, these foods are guaranteed to have a negative impact on your energy levels, mood and concentration.
My main nutritional goals in the morning are to replenish energy stores after an overnight fast, aid muscle recover and boost hydration. I’ll admit that I’m a little odd in that I could happily tuck into grilled chicken and roast vegetables 20 minutes after waking up! The concept of eating a sugary bowl of processed carbohydrates every morning just seems a little absurd to me. If you wouldn’t sit around the dining table, in the evening, with the family tucking into Kellogg’s Frosties, why is it OK to start every day with it?!
Here at the Olympic Games, my breakfast usually consists of scrambled eggs or scrambled egg whites, grilled chicken and rye bread. For a bit of variety, I’ll go for some smoked salmon with salad, spinach and wholemeal bread. After a match day, I might go for some dried apricots with walnuts, almonds and some Greek yoghurt in addition to my hot meal. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I can guarantee, if you follow our Breakfast Guide you’ll soon notice some significant changes in mood, productivity and energy levels. Give it a go and let us know how you get on.